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中国古代文学作品中英译:《庖丁解牛》

2006-07-15 16:09

  Carving Up an Ox

  A cook was butchering an ox for Duke Wen Hui.

  The places his hand touched,

  His shoulder leaned against,

  His foot stepped on,

  His knee pressed upon,

  Came apart with a sound.

  He moved the blade, making a noise

  That never fell out of rhythm.

  It harmonized with the Mulberry Woods Dance,

  Like music from ancient times.

  Duke Wen Hui exclaimed: "Ah! Excellent!

  Your skill has advanced to this level?"

  The cook puts down the knife and answered:

  "What I follow is Tao,

  Which is beyond all skills.

  "When I started butchering,

  What I saw was nothing but the whole ox.

  After three years,

  I no longer saw the whole ox.

  "Nowadays, I meet it with my mind

  Rather than see it with my eyes.

  My sensory organs are inactive

  While I direct the mind's movement.

  "It goes according to natural laws,

  Striking apart large gaps,

  Moving toward large openings,

  Following its natural structure.

  "Even places where tendons attach to bones

  Give no resistance,

  Never mind the larger bones!

  "A good cook goes through a knife in a year,

  Because he cuts.

  An average cook goes through a knife in a month,

  Because he hacks.

  "I have used this knife for nineteen years.

  It has butchered thousands of oxen,

  But the blade is still like it's newly sharpened.

  "The joints have openings,

  And the knife's blade has no thickness.

  Apply this lack of thickness into the openings,

  And the moving blade swishes through,

  With room to spare!

  "That's why after nineteen years,

  The blade is still like it's newly sharpened.

  "Nevertheless, every time I come across joints,

  I see its tricky parts,

  I pay attention and use caution,

  My vision concentrates,

  My movement slows down.

  "I move the knife very slightly,

  Whump! It has already separated.

  The ox doesn't even know it's dead,

  and falls to the ground like mud.

  "I stand holding the knife,

  And look all around it.

  The work gives me much satisfaction.

  I clean the knife and put it away."

  Duke Wen Hui said: "Excellent!

  I listen to your words,

  And learn a principle of life."

庖丁為文惠君解牛,手之所觸,肩之所倚,足之所履,膝之所踦,砉然響然,奏刀騞然,莫不中音,合於桑林之舞,乃中經首之會。

文惠君曰:「嘻,善哉!技蓋至此乎?」

庖丁釋刀對曰:「臣之所好者道也,進乎技矣。始臣之解牛之時,所見無非全牛者﹔三年之后,未嘗見全牛也﹔方今之時,臣以神遇而不以目視,官知止而神欲行。依乎天理,批大卻,導大窾,因其固然。技經肯綮之未嘗微礙,而況大軱乎!良庖歲更刀,割也﹔族庖月更刀,折也﹔今臣之刀十九年矣,所解數千牛矣,而刀刃若新發於硎。彼節者有閒,而刀刃者無厚,以無厚入有閒,恢恢乎其於游刃必有餘地矣。是以十九年而刀刃若新發於硎。雖然,每至於族,吾見其難為,怵然為戒,視為止,行為遲,動刀甚微,謋然已解,牛不知其死也,如土委地。提刀而立,為之而四顧,為之躊躇滿志,善刀而藏之。」

文惠君曰:「善哉!吾聞庖丁之言,得養生焉。」

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